Nigeria is not ready to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) aimed to liberalise trade between Africa, the European Union (EU), Carribean and Pacific countries, Minister of Commerce and Indsutry Chief Achike Udenwa said yesterday.
The European Commission (EC) will give Nigeria 600 million euros to assist it in the areas of trade and regional integration, the head of the EC delegation to Nigeria, Mr. Dennis Theulin said here Friday.
For failing to assent to the interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) being proposed by the EU to the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, processed agricultural produce being exported from Nigeria to the EU attracts an extra cost of a minimum of 6 per cent of the total value of products being exported. Similar products being exported from countries such as Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and others who have endorsed the temporary EPA do not attract this extra cost, therefore putting Nigerian products at a major cost disadvantage in the export of processed products to the EU.
Double standards are being applied in the way that the European Union awards trade preferences to poor countries, an African exporters grouping has alleged.
Coalition of West African Regional Civil Society, made up of Trade World Network (TWN), based in Accra , Ghana, National Association of Nigerian Traders, Abuja, Labour Unions, farmers’ groups, etc, has stressed that the region’s development should be the sole purpose of the EU-ACP Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
The Nigerian Labour Congress and the Liberia Labour Congress have joined their voices in the clamour for West African governments not to sign the Economic partnership Agreements, as proposed by the European Union.
Nigeria and Ghana are to hold a business summit in October to facilitate bilateral trade relations between them.
The ECOWAS Trade Commissioner, Mohammed Daramy, has given some of the many reasons why Nigeria refused to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) which deadline expired on December 31, 2007.
West African states are working at salvaging regional relations with a renewed attempt to collectively negotiate an economic partnership agreement (EPA) with the European Union.
The country will lose an average of $478.4 million revenue in 2008 if it implements the degree of import liberalization as demanded by the Europeans through the Economic Partnership Agreement, EPA, a top official of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Chibuzo Nwoke has warned.
Nigerian cocoa producers have said that the Economic Partnership Agreement will underdevelop Nigeria’s economy because the EU standard makes it necessary for exporters to add value to cocoa, something Nigerian cocoa producers cannot comply with.
Ivory Coast will sign a definitive Economic Partnership Agreement with Europe in June, which it believes will open the door for other West African countries. it is also advising regional powerhouse Nigeria on how to seal an EPA.
Following the decision of Nigeria not to endorse the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the European Union, cocoa processing firms in that country have been facing stiff export hurdles, resulting in multi-million dollar losses since the beginning of January.
A coalition of civil society organisations in Nigeria have called on the Federal Government and other members of the West Africa region to refrain from agreeing with the European Commission on the Economic Partnership Agreements in their current state
Africa’s largest nations are trying to block the signing of the economic partnership agreements with the European Union, Peter Mandelson, EU trade commissioner has claimed.
The European Union Commissioner for Trade, Mr. Peter Mandelson was quoted recently as saying that Nigeria is "sitting like an elephant in the middle of the road."
Nigeria could also lose $680 million annually if the agreements were implemented, according to the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria
India decided on October 16 to extend a line of credit of 250 million USD and 100 million USD worth of agricultural and industrial supplying for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). It also agreed to sign within the next six months a bilateral investment promotion and protection treaty with Nigeria.
Nigerian captains of commerce and industry have warned that the proposed trade agreements are not in the best interest of the growth of industry in the country.
Manufacturers Association of Nigeria Export Group (MANEG), an arm of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has listed the impediments to pro-export growth in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) sub-region.